Management Games, Exercises, Energizers and Icebreakers: 5S Housekeeping Exercise: Seiri and Seiton

(You can see on one single page all of management games and icebreakers authored by me and continually updated on the site if you refer:

(Refer our High Quality Management Encyclopedia “Management Universe” at:

(On this important topic of “5S Housekeeping, we suggest the following additional links:

5S Housekeeping Exercise: Seiri and Seiton

This 5S housekeeping exercise is to give the first hand practical experience of importance of the first two steps of the famous Japanese 5S housekeeping system. These first two steps are: Seiri (sorting out and discarding the unnecessary) and Seiton (systematic arrangement- a place of everything and everything in it’s place).

This exercise or game will surprise the participants of your training seminar or training workshop on 5S housekeeping with the startling facts about how all of us have tendencies to accumulate with us lots of unnecessary things which clutter our lives thereby making us less effective and less efficient and more prone to accidents. The exercise proves to be a good ice breaker too and invokes lots of humor and fun as the exercise proceeds.

You are the coordinator or facilitator of this management exercise or management game. You will instruct all the participants seated in the seminar hall to empty out the contents of their purses, wallets and all of the pockets of their clothes on to the table top in front of them.

Once they have put on display all of their possessions on the top of the table, ask them to inspect each and every item. While inspecting each item, each participant should ask a question “Is this item useful or necessary for me now or in the future? Do I need to keep it or discard it?”

It will interesting to notice that the participants would have collected all kinds of things in their pockets, wallets and purses like scraps of papers with something scribbled on them which they could not decipher now, the business cards of people now yellow and dog eared whom they would never contact, old tickets of cinema, theater, railroad, bus travel, sightseeing places, life expired medicinal tablets, rusted safety pins, broken buttons, old restaurant or other kinds of bills or cash memos, crumpled paper napkins, empty small cosmetic containers, expired credit cards and what have you.

Ask them to sort out everything into two categories: useful and useless. The participants will be amazed to see that over the days, they had accumulated so much of junk which they carried with them everywhere every day and never ever tried to examine the junk. And it has been so many weeks or even months now.

Circulate a waste paper or trash basket around the participants and ask them to discard all the useless things that they had been carrying till date into the trash bin. There will be lots of sheepish laughter in the seminar room. Bet, the trash bin will get filled by the time all the unnecessary things have been dumped.

Now the participants are left out with only the useful things with them. Ask them to spend some time in thinking and planning about the systematic ways of putting the useful things back into their wallets and purses and pockets. Everything should have a well defined place and they should position each useful item they have now into it’s respective place.

At the end of the exercise, let the participant discuss their experiences with each other and you. Ask each participant the percentage the trash they discarded made of their entire belongings they were carrying.

Sum up the exercise with your observations and additional inputs on the topic.

Get Hold of the Related Books

You can order the following books on “management games and icebreakers” as printed books and eBooks from Amazon online:

  1. Classic Management Games, Exercises, Energizers and Icebreakers
  2. Classic Management Games, Exercises, Energizers and Icebreakers (Volume 2)
  3. Classic Team Building Games, Exercises, Energizers and Icebreakers
  4. 101 Classic Management Games, Exercises, Energizers and Icebreakers

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For “out of box thinking” articles by Shyam Bhatawdekar, refer: (Out of Box Ideas)


About Shyam Bhatawdekar

35 years’ industrial/business experience as a top executive & 35 years’ parallel academic/consultancy experience in general management, behavioral sciences & technology. Areas: general management, production, human resources, industrial engineering, systems, MIS, computers, corporate planning, audit, sales/marketing. Penchant for information technology & behavioral sciences; integrated with conventional technology makes him unique thought leader. Conversant with academic theories & realities of business, fuses the two into practical approaches. Was associated with Tata Motors, Hindustan Motors, Hindustan Aeronautics & ThyssenKrupp; held top positions as highflier executive. Presently Chairman & Managing Director, Prodcons Group associating with 250 organizations; providing management & I T consultations & conducting seminars/workshops. Been a faculty for IIM’s, TMTC, Railway & HAL Staff Colleges, Symbiosis. Speaker with 35000 hours’ experience benefitting more than 100,000 people. Published 35 articles in Economic Times, Indian Management & Computers Today. Authored 27 books. Invited as key speaker in seminars by AIMA, HRD Network, NIPM, QCFI, CSI, NPC. Widely traveled. Education: Engineering & Management.
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